Writing about writing …

I was invited to participate in a Blog Tagging event. Since my writing has really slowed down I thought this would be a great motivator. It did more than that ūüôā

I thank Sora Garrett at The Shine Connection  for her piece on Writing about Writing (click the Shine Connection link), the invite, and the nudge to return to my writing.

What are you currently working on?

A book, can you believe it?¬†¬†I never thought I would be writing a book. ¬†I was always the oOld fashioned vintage typewriterne who saw that talent, that ability in others and prompted them to be the writers. ¬†Apparently I have a book or two in me waiting to be written. ¬†I also have a “journal” on my website www.tericonnolly.com that I do post in pretty regularly. It is where I share my¬†deep philosophical and spiritual musings. I really enjoy sharing that part of me.

How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

My work differs because I share very intimate, naked pieces of me. I share my vulnerability mixed with very dry humor. ¬†I am so very new to all of this “writing” that I really don’t know my genre ūüôā ¬†Which takes me to the next question…

Why do you write what you write?

I write because I was always a storyteller verbally sharing anecdotes of life as examples of being human and to help others. I hesitated to use writing to express those stories mainly because I never thought of myself as a writer ~ storytellers don’t write I thought. Now I know writers are storytellers. I have also found that writing connects me to a higher deeper essence of myself that expresses through me. I learn just as much from my writing as others have expressed they have learned. Writing is now¬†a part of me. I have fun and feel energized by the process especially completing a piece.

Describe your writing process.

My writing process is very simple. I sit at the computer, ask for a subject, and then get out of the way of the higher deeper essence that expresses through me. When I am done writing I am always amazed at what has been written!! ¬†I started my book by looking at a naked urn sitting on the patio at the home I was renting. ¬†I picked up my pencil and words just tumbled out. ¬†This process is the same for everything I have written. ¬†I do get ‘blocked’ and find nothing flowing. ¬†It is then that I have to write out deliberate thoughts unclogging the hollow bone.

 

Now I get to share 3 other writers with you!  Stay tuned you are going to love them!

 

Xylophone

xylo tree branches

Once upon a time in a world far, far away there lived a tiny xylophone.  His world was filled with many trees and special rocks.  No one spoke and not a sound was made.  Every day he woke and looked up through the trees to the bright blue sky.  He hoped that one day he would find another tiny xylophone just like him.  Days and weeks passed still no one came.  The silence sat heavy upon his ears.

Early one morning a limb fell from the tall oak above him nearly hitting him. Angered by this sudden disruption the rocks gathered around the limb edging closer to tiny Xylo.  Unable to move he tried desperately to make himself  tinier than he could ever remember.  Fearing he would be hurt by the rocks anger he kept very still.  Barely breathing and hoping soon someone would come find him.

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Days flowed into nights for Xylo.  He watched closely as the rocks and fallen limb danced in confrontation.  Unable to find an escape from them he decided to settle down and watch.  The daily bickering created smaller lengths of wood from the limb.  There was much chaos that created sounds that both repelled and drew him closer.  Fearing he would be injured in the altercations Xylo hung back.  The rocks continued their assault on the limb breaking more pieces and severing them into smaller pieces.  As night grew dark Xylo fell sleepy, unable to keep his eyes open, sighing he settled into his corner.

The rocks drawing strength from their bravery advanced for a final battle hoping to push the limb completely out of their area.  Xylo exhausted from fear closed his eyes and slept.  The scuffling of the rocks lulled him deeper.  Swaying with the noise he noticed a tiny tingling sound joining the scuffling.  Unable to determine its origin, he slept on swaying to the rhythm of the sounds, heading into dreamland.  He dreamt he was a mighty xylophone tall as the trees above him and solid as the rocks.  He knew his destiny in the dream.  Grasping for anything to make this dream real he determined that no longer would he be frightened by anything that surrounded him.  He determined that when he woke up he would grow to be the best xylophone he could ever imagine and then some.

What dreams are you reluctant to grasp and live?  Go out and exceed your expectations!

X

Visions

Oh we all have them.  We follow them till they dim.  We ignore them till they smack us.  We so want to live them.  They come in all sizes and colors.  Some of them hit the headlines while some just make someone incredibly happy.  I know I have lived many.  It is my understanding their importance is downplayed.  They feed and nurture.  What happens when they are ignored?

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At the mere age of 4 I had a vision of living in a small traveling vehicle visiting all the people I loved.  It was an odd vision since I could not reach the pedals and everyone I loved lived with me.  It was a vision that I clamored to accomplish.  Totally making no sense to my parents, they figured I had an active imagination coupled with a limited english vocabulary.  My mother was tasked with growing my verbal skills and I was given a new coloring book.  Not to be distracted I took my favorite doll and traveled the alleyways scaring my mother to death.  I eventually gave the vision up for another.

Soon I had a vision of becoming the flying nun, traveling the world, healing the sick, teaching and visiting all the people I loved.  My world had broaden to include several years of parochial school and a larger group of people I loved.  This vision moved forward towards accomplishment until one summer day.  My mother and I were inside the convent collecting books for the next fall term.  I happened to spy the living arrangements of the dear nuns.  Upon deeper reflection I gave the vision of the flying nun vocation to the discard pile.

As life would have it, I was faced with a new arena of experiences that required a new vision. ¬†Having recently¬†enrolled in¬†public school the world according to my surroundings changed. ¬†I was engulfed¬†by strangers trying desperately to fit into already established groups. ¬† My first true realization,¬†what I had tried to curtail for others in elementary school the pain of being left out and misunderstood, was a common experience now. ¬† I wasn’t a stranger to the feeling. ¬†We have all had times when we felt left out. ¬†The difference was how constant it became in the new school. ¬† A vision began to grow for me. ¬†I wanted to help others not feel left out and misunderstood. ¬†I wanted everyone to have the same opportunities. ¬†This time I could actually begin to live my vision. ¬†I helped with the civil rights movement, women’s rights, and lowering the voting age. ¬†I typed, handed out leaflets, demonstrated, and walked petitions through neighborhoods. ¬† I was finally actively pursuing my vision. ¬†I saw death, defeat, destruction and success. ¬†I grew up and began to realize the true nature of my visions. ¬†I became aware. ¬†I also had to become real.

1795624_559499050823795_1078788267_nVisions are inspiration from our deepest soul space.  They are signposts upon our journey here.  They are not standard and one size fits all.  Visions incorporate all the wisdom we carry inside.

Having visions allow us to thrive in a world we think has gone mad. ¬†Being a visionary doesn’t require amazing feats. ¬†It only requires willingness to allow your true nature to speak. ¬†A vision of world peace is available to all of us. ¬†When we take the time to examine our visions, changing within us those things curtailing our limiting beliefs, they come alive and flourish.

My simple vision at the age of 4 of traveling and visiting those I love is happening right now. ¬†I can now reach the pedals and my friends are across the globe. ¬†My vision of the flying nun was adjusted. ¬†I don’t wear a habit but I do help those who are ill and in need of company, traveling when necessary. ¬†¬†I continue to help to right injustices, protect our planet, and my favorite, support others in seeing and living their visions.

It took time for me to grow and crack open the world I had hidden deep within me.  I continue to crack and grow and thrive.  My visions develop and express themselves. I tweak them if needed but never change their original voice.  Most importantly I follow them with the same thrill of a 4 year-old.  I will go through the Black Hole one day even if only in my Book.

Happy Visioning!  Make them large and wonderful the world needs you!

V-2

 

 

 

 

Uka, Until, Undecided

Bounding amidst his nine siblings his gangly gate endeared me and I knew instantly he was mine.  He ran between my son and I begging for recognition.  As the others tumbled over each other continuing their play he ignored them instead he demanded our attention as he gamboled past.

I remember that day when I finally decided another dog just had to grace my life again. ¬†There were actually two black mixed puppies that clambered towards us. ¬†I could not see bringing them both but my heart could have been changed by one look in my son’s eyes. ¬†He didn’t want to push it I guess because we only took home one. ¬†My Uka a gordon setter, golden retriever mistake of natural love begot under the guise of the open gate.

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It didn’t take me long to find a name for this powerful puppy. ¬†As a child I had an imaginary friend from my original planet who came to visit and help me when I was unable to understand the world around me. ¬†Seeing the delight and understanding in his eyes I knew there was only one name for him, Uka, not Yukon! ¬†Many a vet form had to be corrected. ¬†I never gave up informing them of the correct spelling and pronunciation.

Within the first 4 months of his life his nickname of ‘devil dog’ appeared. ¬†Reaching¬†my waist, however did that happen, his penchant of¬†constantly standing in front of you barking drove many a friend crazy. ¬†He didn’t want out nor more food he wanted you to listen to him. ¬†Yep, listen to him. ¬†He would stand facing you and just look you dead straight in the eyes. ¬†Eventually we created a language between each other. ¬†I used some commands in public yet at home alone we seldom spoke unless I was irritated. ¬†Mind you not irritated at him but at the day or myself. ¬†His size seriously took me by surprise. ¬†My son often told the story of the day we went to find our dog. ¬†As we departed the car we were greeted by his father, a beautiful strong gordon setter that stood at my waist insisting on being petted and fussed over. ¬†Apparently I remarked about his size and then promptly forgot my surprise upon meeting all 9 puppies.

Uka proved difficult to corral and totally a free spirit and my not being a strong alpha I had to go into training.  We lived for his first year on 40 wide open acres.  He loved chasing the deer and elk across the fields.  Bringing home his prized catches required boundaries.  Leave the lovely gifts on the porch, please.

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The¬†¬†greatest joy he brought for me were all the nights we spent alone together. ¬†Sipping a glass of something and he laying his head in my lap brought a deep connection to us. ¬†So often I wasn’t sure if he loved me or my son and finally realized his heart filled upon seeing us both. ¬†Uka would ride in the manual stick truck with my son patiently waiting for him to coordinate the shift/gas sequence. ¬†One particular time as they drove off the property, Uka riding shotgun, and my son trying desperately to find the clutch rhythm, I burst out laughing as on the 3rd attempt Uka turned his head towards him and gave a huge sigh. ¬†Chuckles still come each time I remember.

Until I was faced with the death of my son I had no idea how very important my Devil Dog would be to me.  Although Uka visibly missed my son, heading to the door each time the truck pulled in, he never left my side.  He accepted the change to city life from the open expanse of his earlier days.  He adjusted to his new sibling, Solas, a bounding ball of golden retriever fluff.  He never gave up his position of the protector of my heart.  Knowing exactly where my heart was each day he responded with is big brown eyes peering deeply into my soul reminding me he would always be here.  His head found my lap, his paws nudged me out of the tears, and his constant barking at nothing reminded me that life was asking me to join it.

Uka stayed a part of my life for 13 years.  He was old for a large dog with severe hip-dysplasia.  A disease now rampant in dogs that guarantees a painful deterioration of their hips.  He compensated for the disease by building up his shoulders.  When those began to break down unable to hold up his slipping hips I had to make a decision.  I was so undecided.   I knew that Uka was my last strong connection to my son.  I knew Uka had brought so much comfort to me.  I knew that by saying good-bye to him I was saying good-bye to my son.

Spending many a night alone with him we decided it was time for him to leave my side. ¬†Solas was old enough to take his place. ¬†It was also time to finally place a closure to this journey of our lives. ¬†The decision was made for April 15. ¬†The night before I couldn’t find him, fearing the worst, I calmly called him one more time. ¬†Waiting in the dark for a black dog can lead to many a surprise. ¬†Coming towards me, wagging his tail in triumph, he graced me with one more present. ¬†He had finally caught a SQUIRREL! ¬†Determined to bring it inside for safe keeping the argument ensued. ¬†After all these years of¬†good training my alpha role won out. ¬†Placing the squirrel carefully in a towel Uka¬†had decided was worthy of his¬†prize, I walked into the garage placing it out of reach of intruders.

Uka has never left my side.  He was there when I had to say good-bye to Solas 3 years later.  He runs the hills I hike.  A tiny piece of his final prize is held in my medicine bag.

Once your heart has been deeply touched there is no turning back.  Whether it is a dog, cat, child, person allow your heart to be awakened.  Your open heart will draw more connections leading to a life fully lived.

U

Swing

To swing or not to swing should never be a difficult question!  Try to remember the first time your mother placed you on that yellow bucket swing and her push released you into the open blue sky!  Remember the first time you sat on your mothers lap with her arm around you as she pushed off into the open blue sky?  Push me, push me you would yell!  After a bit you grew brave and stood up pumping higher and higher.   What is it about swinging that thrills everyone?  Is it the motion and freedom?  The imagined worlds you can go to or the dare to see how high you can fly as the seat gives a jig on the backward rise, perhaps it is the ultimate dare to jump off the swing as it propels you forward?

As you grew older did you lose you desire to swing or did you sneak off to swing and ponder your developing philosophy?

I still love to swing.  Spying a playground with a set of swings I will stop and throw my cares to the wind.

But there is another kind of swing I love just as much.  It is swing dance.  Born of WWII parents we were encapsulated in their dance styles.  Taking turns with our dad we learned some basic steps dancing to Glenn Miller each Saturday night in the kitchen.  Those evenings led me to pursue a dance major followed by a lifetime of dancing.  I can tell you it is the motion, the music, the thrill of combining the two that brings me back every time.  I do believe my dad still dances and will be waiting to take me on a spin across the floor when we meet again!

Enjoy!!

Pause and Quench

Good morning РI missed posting my word for P due to pain in my back and my inability to sit for any length of time.  Today I decided to combine my two letters for my post ~ Pause and Quench.

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Seldom do we allow ourselves to really pause in our daily life. ¬†It is as if our Type A ancestors genetic makeup has blossomed into a full fledge robotic life for us. ¬†Driven by a need to stave off death and destruction our ancestors hitched a ride from their homeland to the new world. ¬† A place where they thought they could find peace, happiness, and safety. ¬†For the most part everyone found something. ¬†There were thousands who were ¬†forcibly taken from their homes and forced into a life they hadn’t¬†chosen; a life of slavery. ¬†Many found themselves in a¬†life of failure and isolation and many¬†did discover a new start yet not necessarily a 5 star life. ¬†All of them created anew and birthed generations that still carry the desire for peace, happiness, and safety.

With all the knowledge that has been unearthed for us in the 21st century in America there is still a large resistance to pausing daily to quench ourselves.  Many of us have a daily religious practice that has been effective in showing a path to reflection and the abundance of peace, happiness, and safety by pausing to quench our souls.  There are still many who rush through their daily life on their way to attainment never pausing, never quenching their deeper essence.

How difficult is it to incorporate these two words, this habit into your life?  Is it really something that takes hours out of your routine? Is your desire to accumulate and complete your list of daily tasks so long, so intensive that a pause to hear the spring birds, smell the freshly mowed lawn, feel the rain, or listen to the snow fall completely impossible to allow?  Does the ability to curve your lips upwards create such pain within that you cannot smile as you pass each person you meet?

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Pausing and quenching yourself and others can become a trait of the Type A personality.  If it makes it easier for you to incorporate this action, to add it to your list, it has been proven to increase your ability to accomplish more tasks.  It has also been shown to intensify your sense of accomplishment of peace, happiness, and safety.

Starting today, pause just once and allow the beauty and uniqueness of today to quench your soul and add a little bit of fun into your pursuits. ¬†And don’t just stop there. ¬†Make P&Q a daily practice in your Type A life. ¬† It just might alter your future generations and bring a big smile to your ancestors.

Pause and quench…. ahhhhhhhhh!

P-2Q-2

M is for Memories and Moving on

balance

It seems that in times of loss we are not allowed to sit for long.  Within a short time life starts to pull us forward requiring us to make decisions of movement.  There is a need to fight against this request.  It is almost imperative.  Giving into the forward movement too quickly removes opportunities that will come slamming back.  Rushing headlong back into life can negate all that has been lost.  Refusing to move back into life can reward the insanity of denial.  It is a very delicate balance.

We are gifted with gems, perks if you will, to support us in hitting the right moment to move into the fray of life.  We are not lost forever.  Signs and maps are present.  They often must be dusted off or discovered by seeming accident but they are none-the-less there for the asking.

What are some of these gems, signs, or maps?  They are our memories.  The memory of the first kiss, long overdue birth, the blue ribbon or first home.  Those times of laughter, joy and sorrow.  The first argument although filled with confusing signals is still a memory and useful in our forward journey.  The burnt dinner, experienced as embarrassment, fills your heart with laughter recalling the gulped mouthful.  In the first moments memories almost seem painful but they are opportunities for growth.  They heal your heart when it is broken.  They give you permission to release the anger.  They remind you of the gift of life and its call to return.  They help you to release the attached identity.  They remind you that all is not lost.  They tell you, if you care to listen, what is precious, valuable and rebuilding.

Collage for #AtoZ Challenge

Memories were never meant for lingering in the past. ¬†They were meant to be a map to discovering you and the value of your life. ¬†If you look closely you can see there are not traps or handcuffs built into memories. ¬†They are of our own making. ¬†Look closely, you will see what I mean. ¬†Memories give us permission to move on. ¬†They actually open the door to moving on. ¬†The key is, if we let them speak their purpose and welcome their wisdom, moving back into life is refreshing. ¬†The freshness of a new discovered aspect of you blossoms in a forward motion. ¬†Watch Nature. ¬†It doesn’t move backwards in its memory of growth. ¬†It strikes out brave¬†knowing and trusting the map of its memory.

All life moves forward.  It pauses, reflects, grows, bursts, and then dies to return again.  We seldom give permission to the one facing loss whether it is a life of a loved one, job, position, or sock to move through the natural rhythm of life.  Pushing before it is spring kills the first blooms.  While staying too long in the cave molds life.  Allowing the natural flow, nurturing the tiny buds, quenching the thirst ensures life returns to bloom again.

Life doesn’t just happen. ¬†It is created. ¬†What do you want to create after the storm? ¬†Can you use your memories to guide you to your next deeper journey in life? ¬†Are you willing to move from the cave heeding the call of your battered heart? ¬†Are you willing to allow your memories to soften the jagged edges trusting the openness of your bruised heart to welcome moving on into a stronger brilliant life?

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I took the chance.  I know there is a brilliance to my life that flows nourishing my jagged heart reminding me that love comes always.  My memories have never faded.  They are refreshed by my willingness to embrace life and live again.

 

No loss is too great to give up our memories and not move on.

 

 

M